The Last Days of Summer

The Last Days of Summer

Every time that I leave my grandparents’ house in Michigan, I wonder how long it will be before I make it back up there. Yet, I somehow find myself in Michigan every year, much to my delight (proof: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).  This weekend, my parents and I made the 14-hour northbound trip.  We spent 2 days with family, attended a wedding, and returned south.  As always, the long drive was worth it.

August Photo Challenge 2019

August Photo Challenge 2019

I’ve written and deleted half a dozen introductions to this post.  Here is a general summary of everything that I’ve thought about saying:

  • August 2019 may go down in history as the month that I fell in love with macro lenses (see photos 2, 13, 16, and 24).
  • In July I apologized for posting 4 photos of water.  This month I have to apologize for posting another 5 photos of water (see photos 1, 3, 13, 17, and 19).
  • Overall, this is my favorite month of photos (see photos 3, 4, 13, 17 and 18)
  • Every day, it gets a little harder to choose one of the 365 prompts (because every day, there is one less to choose from).
Simple Joy Saturday #57

Simple Joy Saturday #57

In 2019, I am posting a roundup of “simple joys” on the last Saturday of every month. Feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments!

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Enjoyable Reads

1.  One of the best stories that I read for my British and American short fiction class was “An Appointment with Love.” My classmates engaged in a friendly debate about whether this story was realistic.  If you have an opinion, please share.

2. I finished the Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series this month (I started the series in June), and I cannot overstate how much I love these books.  I convinced the children’s literature professor at my alma mater to give the books a chance, and she read two of them within a week.  If you find even the slightest enjoyment in reading children’s literature, you have to read this series.

3. Do you remember Stephanie Meyer?  Yes, I mean the same Stephanie Meyer that started the nationwide obsession with vampires in 2008.  This month, I discovered a book that she published in 2016 titled The Chemist, and it is so good!  No vampires or werewolves are involved.

4. I usually only share 3 stories/books, but here is a bonus treasure:  Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale.  

As I said in July, I am still making steady progress on my reading from the 100 Books Bucket List, but nothing is worth recommending.  Honestly, I wonder how some of these books made the list.

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A Mixed Bag of Wedding Photos and Literary Tangents

A Mixed Bag of Wedding Photos and Literary Tangents

Every time this year that someone asks me, “Has your summer been relaxing?,” I want to respond as Mr. Beaver responded to Susan Pevensie:  “Who said anything about relaxing?  ‘Course it isn’t relaxing.  But it’s good.  It’s the summer, I tell you.”  (I think that I could probably use quotations from Lemony Snicket and C.S. Lewis to  describe everything in life. But I digress.)

The highlight of these busy weeks was my brother’s wedding.  After several days of heavy downpours in Sarasota, we worried that the outdoor wedding would be a mixed bag of love and rain — in the same way that “a trip to the zoo would be a very mixed bag if the weather were beautiful, but all the man- and woman-eating lions were running around loose”  (and there’s your Snicket quote for the day).

holding hands prayer before wedding Sarasota

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July Photo Challenge 2019

July Photo Challenge 2019

I am successfully past the half-way point of this 365-day photo challenge, and I am somewhat embarrassed by the lack of variety this month.  At first, I thought that the pictures were too random–you are about to see everything from the Winston skyline to watercolor jellyfish.  Then I realized that there are 2 pictures of soccer fields, 2 pictures of desserts, 2 pictures of an insect on a flower, 3 pictures of American flags, and 4 pictures containing water (not including the watercolor jellyfish).

But these photos tell the story of July pretty well.  I’m not too upset about the redundancy.

Simple Joy Saturday #56

Simple Joy Saturday #56

In 2019, I am posting a roundup of “simple joys” on the last Saturday of every month. Feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments!

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Enjoyable Reads

July’s edition of “Enjoyable Reads” is dedicated to short stories because I’m currently enrolled in British and American Short Fiction.

1.  If you have 5 minutes and love a good plot twist, then you need to read “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.

2.  If you have a little more time and don’t mind sad endings, check out “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather.

3.  And if you just need a good laugh (and you are willing to read for a little longer), then read “Xingu” by Edith Wharton.

P.S.  American short fiction might be my favorite genre.

P.P.S.  I did read several books from the 100 Books Bucket List this month, but none were good enough to recommend.

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Soar-asota

Soar-asota

I used to claim that I was afraid of birds.  Wings and the beaks make birds completely unpredictable—you never know when those feathered appendages will flap.  The problem with my claiming this fear, however, is that ducks are my favorite animal (and flamingos are probably my third favorite animal, following after jellyfish).

While on a family trip in Sarasota, I realized another flaw in claiming this fear:  I photograph birds a lot (here’s evidence from Arizona, Michigan, and my own backyard).  In fact, I let a snowy egret wander within 3  yards of me so that I could get a good picture.  I guess I will have to find a new fear.